London has a flag

What does the English flag mean?

The flag of England shows a red cross on a white background: it is the cross of Saint George, England's patron saint. For the numbers people among us: the cross is a fifth as wide as the flag is high. The proportion is 16: 9, which is probably still known to many as the format of the TV set at home.

The Union Jack

The Saint George Cross is also part of the Union Jack, the flag of the United Kingdom. When the English and Scottish Kingdoms were united under James I, the crosses of St. George (England) and St. Andrew (Scotland) came about, so to speak.

In 1801 the cross of St. Patrick (Ireland) was added. As a result, the "Union Flag" - much better known as the "Union Jack" - is made up of the crosses of the patron saints of England, Scotland and Ireland.

History of the flag of England

The exact roots of the flag are not known. What is certain is that the George Cross appeared during the Crusades and is one of the oldest symbols of England. The namesake of the cross, St. George, has been a patron saint since the 13th century.

However, the George Cross probably did not have the status of a national flag until the 16th century, since all crosses of the saints were banned during the Reformation. The first reference to the use of the cross at sea comes from 1545.

The George Cross was also used on flags of other Christian countries and cities. This is also how it appears in the flag of Georgia. Here St. George is also a patron saint. And also the former flag of Northern Ireland ("Red Hand Flag") shows, among other things, the George Cross. Many flags and coats of arms of former British colonies also go back to the English national flag or the British Union Jack.